Thursday, June 9, 2011

Is WoW Hard?

We hear it all the time in different ways.  This quest is hard, this dungeon is hard, this raid is hard.  However, at its base WoW in and of itself is not hard at all.  Everything is programmed to be a pattern and even if it is programmed to be in a random pattern you can still easily figure it out.

WoW, as an MMO is actually a very hard game, much harder then it would be if it allowed solo play in what is designed for multi player content.  Take any raid boss as an example.  If you know the fight it seems simple yet when you do it with people that do not know it this simple fight it becomes hard and sometimes even impossible.

The complexity, or difficultly if you will, of WoW is not in the game itself.  Everything in the game is simple.  Move from this, do that, interrupt the other, so forth and so on.  Once you know it, the difficultly is gone and even things that where once deemed hard are now laughable.

Even the most cutting edge of raid content is stupidly simple if you know what to do.  It is all a series of patterns.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Master the patterns and you master the boss.

Any one of us that ever played single player games, which I will guess is pretty much every person on earth, knows that if we try something long enough we will get better at it. 

Even something as simple as pac man was hard when you first tried it.  Maybe you where lucky enough to get through the first level or two but you died.  The more you played the better you got.  You learned how to move, what to avoid, patterns that the computer uses so you can take advantage of it.  Basically, you learned how to play.

Some people will never be good at pac man, it is just a fact, other will start off slow and learn and become great at it.  Both cases are individual, they both progress at their own personal rate of ability.

WoW is just as simple as pac man.  The difficultly arises in the fact that no matter how good you are at learning the patterns and reacting to them in a timely way you can never account for those around you.

The difficultly of an MMO is directly connected to the other people you are with.  No matter how good you are you can not account for the abilities of 4, 9 or 24 other people.  You could know what to do so well that you do not even think before doing it, you just act.  If any one of those other people do not know it then the fight increases in difficulty.

The more people that do not know it, the more chances their will be for errors and that directly connects to the difficultly of the encounter as a whole.

Even if a fight is as easy as stack up, split up, avoid this, stand in that, four simple concepts, if anyone does not know them or does not do them well that simple concept fight is now difficult.

In the end, WoW is about as easy as it gets, if only you could play it alone.  The game itself is not hard at all.

Finding 4, 9, or 24 other players that are on the same level of you in terms of knowing the patterns, now that is the difficult part of WoW.  It is the community that makes a game hard, not the game itself.  The game itself is easy.

If you ever find yourself wiping on a new boss during progression, think for a moment and try to figure out who is not getting it.  Someone in your group just doesn't get it.  There is no reason to ever wipe on any fight in the game, they are all easy.  If you wipe there is one reason and one reason only.  Someone (or a few people) did not get it.   Finding people that get it and can work as a team, now that is the hardest part of WoW.

This came to mind after I was on another server where I am leveling a new Dwarf Shaman, 6 hours 30 minutes in and level 20 now.

Watching their trade chat and comparing it to mine is mind numbing.  Sure they both have trolls but it was reading between the trolls that I noticed something really disturbing that shows how the game is directly connected to those around you when it comes to difficulty.

On my server they only PuG BH 10.  I've never seen a 25, never been in a 25, and only one person I know has even even attempted a 25 and they said all but one were failures.

On my server they can not even PuG normal raids.  I occasionally would see a guild run that needed an extra and they can get down a boss or two with it at best.  It is a nice way to pass time, I like it, but that is where pugging raids on my server ends. 

You can not PuG raid content.  I tried joining one two weeks ago on my Shaman and the group broke up before we even got to the boss, we didn't even wipe or anything, it just broke up on trash.  God forbid you make it to the boss, one wipe and the group breaks up for sure.  Pugs do not work on my server.

So lets move over to the new server I am on, my little dwarf is doing the cooking and fishing dailies and reading trade chat and sees everyone advertising BH 25 pugs.  Not one person is looking for a BH 10.  People looking to join the PuGs are all adverting 364 item level looking, 366, item level looking, 368 item level looking, etc, I do not think I saw one person under item level 360 looking for a run.

Pug heroic raids where going on left and right.  LFM, BWD 25 heroic, 360 item level.  LFM BoT 25 Heroic, on last boss.  LFM to full clear all three heroic raids, must know fights.

WTF?  They are pugging heroic raid content on this server and only 4 guilds on my server have even downed all normal content?  No guild on my server has more then 2 heroic bosses down for god sake, this server is pugging heroic raids.  You can't even pug halfus on my server without expecting 100 wipes.

You want WoW to be hard... come to my server.  From my stand point where I play, WoW is extremely hard.

Personally, I like easy, I want to play with people that are better and can pug heroic content.  I'm thinking of moving some of my characters over to that server or just leveling more along with my Shaman there.

WoW is only hard because of the people around you.  The people on my server make WoW really freaking hard when I know damn well it isn't. 

I never realized how bad my server really was until I saw another server pugging heroic raids where everyone on the server had an item level 360 or better meaning they have all been doing heroic raids for a long time.  It is depressing how bad my server is. 

Maybe some day my server will pick up the pace but I won't hold my breath for it to happen.  My server is bad, nothing much else you can say about that. 

I sometimes wonder if it would really be worth it to move to a server with a better player base just so I can actually do more but then I think of it the other way of how exciting it is to get something down when you actually have to work hard to do it.  Each has its good and bad point.  It is something I need to think about however.

Until then, at least I will have a shaman that can clear content in a timely manner if I continue to level it and do not get bored over there.  I'd love to play on a server that can pug heroic raids.  It might actually allow me to play the game instead of just sitting to raid once a week to get one boss down.


  1. Xayíde@GurubashiJune 14, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    "There is no reason to ever wipe on any fight in the game, they are all easy. If you wipe there is one reason and one reason only. Someone (or a few people) did not get it."
    I must strongly disagree. There can be (and there often is) a big gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it when it comes to fight mechanics.
    Often everyone knows exactly what they should be doing and we still wipe during progression because you just need more training. (I belog to a 11/13H group btw, so I think I'm not a total scrub =P)

  2. You are way more progressed then I do so you know how it goes but I do still believe my words hold true.

    As you said, you still wipe because you need more training. That means "someone does not get it" yet. Once everyone gets it, then you do not wipe.

    The difficulty in wow is getting the people that all get it. When all do not get it, you will wipe sometimes, that is what progression is. It is people learning to get it.

    However, I will say that the random number generator can easily wipe groups that get it. The RNG has caused more wipes all on its own than any player ever has on their own.

    Wipes also come from accidents. God knows I've had more then my fair share of oops moments on fights I had been doing for ages.